It has been a couple of weeks now since the Nvidia GeForce Partner Program story first broke and during that time, much more information has come to light. We've seen at least two notable AiBs strip a main brand away from AMD products. We've also had the chance to check in with an inside source of our own, who gave us some interesting insights.
Since HardOCP's coverage first came to light, Nvidia and various board partners have been tight lipped, refusing to talk on or off the record about the subject. We were fortunate enough to get some information out of an inside source of our own, who explained to us that while on paper the GPP is optional, AiBs are feeling the pressure as not signing up comes with some hefty ramifications.
We have heard that board partners who don't sign up to the GPP effectively won't get access to Nvidia's GPU supply. Without a steady supply of GPUs from Nvidia, AiBs won't be able to compete on the same level, and given Nvidia's current marketshare dominance, they heavily rely on the company's support.
The second point that our source raised with us is that Nvidia wants the best and most notable AiB brands to be exclusive. This is something that already appears to be taking effect publicly.
If we take a look at the MSI website, the ‘Gaming' or ‘Gaming X' series of Radeon graphics cards have been removed, reserving the ‘Gaming' brand exclusively for Nvidia GPUs. You can only find AMD/Radeon GPUs as part of the MSI ‘Armour' series, which is lesser known. We don't know for sure if this is a result of MSI signing on to the GPP, but from the outside, it certainly looks that way.
Recently, we also spotted something odd on the Gigabyte website. Over the last couple of years, Gigabyte has been transitioning its gaming-related products over to the ‘AORUS' brand, which has sold both AMD and Nvidia GPUs in the past. You can still find Radeon GPUs on the website under this brand name. However, the recently launched ‘AORUS Gaming Box‘, an external GPU enclosure, appears to be exclusive to Nvidia. Meanwhile, the same product can be found on the AMD section of Gigabyte's website, with the main difference being that the ‘AORUS' name has been removed.
Unfortunately right now, no company is willing to talk on the record about the GeForce Partner Program, who has signed up for it, and what its terms are. However, the public-facing evidence so far gives us some clues and once Nvidia's next GPU launch comes around, we'll likely know for sure based on the marketing changes in place.
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KitGuru Says: There are still a lot of questions surrounding the GPP and how it will impact the market. We've heard from one source first-hand, but ideally, we would like to talk to as many as possible to paint a broader picture of what's going on behind the scenes.